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NCSG research used to support rent assistance bill

A new bill before the Baltimore City Council would offer up to $1,500 a month in rental assistance for families experiencing housing emergencies.

Legislation introduced by Councilwoman Odette Ramos calls for the Department of Housing & Community Development to give up to 12 payments directly to participants’ landlords.

The bill draws on findings from a study by the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth and Enterprise Community Partners, which noted that the amount of both owner and renter households that are severely cost burdened — meaning they pay at least half of their income toward housing — has increased dramatically throughout Maryland since 2000.

The study highlights a shortage of 85,000 affordable housing units throughout the state for households earning less than 30% of median income and notes that people of color, individuals with disabilities and seniors are disproportionately affected by housing hurdles such as high security deposits.

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